Majestic trees inhale
to draw breath from each graceful limb
deep into their hearts,
sprinkling jeweled leaves along a scented path.
The earth, still ripe with bounty,
shimmers between the worlds,
and magic is everywhere.
The most mystical of seasons is finally with us, my Loves! Blessed Autumn in all her colorful cloaks has fully arrived, and she does not disappoint. Dazzling us with her spellbinding beauty, she fires our internal cauldrons with activity while lovingly demonstrating the art of bringing energy inwards, to honor all that is, and then…to simply let go. The Season of The Witch has us completely in her thrall, conjuring like mad as the wisps between the worlds intertwine with ritual fires that burn bright.
But before we get to the conjuring bit, I must point out one teeny little crook in the wand: this most gorgeous month starts off with something of a twist. On October 5th, our beloved Venus turns retrograde, and stays that way until November 16th. Now, before the worry sets in (and the accompanying frown lines) that you might feel less than amorous during your Autumnal frolicking, let me clarify this planetary motion: as with all retrogrades, it is a time to revisit, rethink, and revise. Since Venus only retrogrades once every 19 months, this is the ideal time to heal love relationships, including the one you have with yourself. If there is something, or someone, blocking you from receiving the kind of love you want, it must be cleared. While that can mean gathering the courage to confront a situation, or letting go in a way that might be difficult, it really couldn’t be a more harmonious time for that kind of action. The reward for not avoiding? The door now opens for a magnificent rebirth! (Just don’t get hitched, or even engaged. These are classic no-no’s during a Venus retrograde.) Have a few other Venus-ruled morsels of wisdom fresh in your mind during this time too, like keeping a close watch on your finances. And remember the appearance smarts, my dear Beauty Witchlings! Though regular maintenance is perfectly fine, do not make any drastic changes to your look right now. So, no going out on a limb to try a new hairdo, transform your wardrobe, or venturing to a dermatologist for a little “rejuvenation.” (Beauty Witches don’t need that anyway, right?)
Now for the conjuring! We have a late-night New Moon in lovely Libra on October 8th, at11:47pm EST, offering us a stellar opportunity to find that often-elusive balance we seek. Though the concept of balance always seems to imply a stillness, or steadiness, it is actually quite the opposite. Since energies are always in motion, the act of balancing requires constant adjustment to create equilibrium, making it a continually fluid state of being. This is not as tiring as it sounds, but it does require awareness. So, if you have been polarized, now is the time for not only awakening to it, but for actively seeking its complimentary, opposing energy. And to begin a new cycle of working with these energies regularly. This Moon also grants us a fruitful time to partner, either on a business or personal level, adding sweetness and harmony to the union. (But do be mindful of a leaning towards co-dependency, one of the shadow aspects of Libra.)
For this Moon, I’ve concocted a fabulous potion for your crowning glory, as it can be yearning for a bit of uplift après Summer. Libra loves all things beautiful and pleasing to the eye, so rather than make big changes, let’s maintain our manes by rejuvenating the scalp and hair, so it can receive nutrients more effectively during the change of seasons. This potion gently clarifies, getting rid of any product buildup while adding stimulating and nutritious treasures for bouncy, shiny, well-fed tresses.
¼ cup apple cider vinegar, unfiltered
¼ cup pure water
13 drops cedarwood essential oil
6 drops nutmeg essential oil
Pour the apple cider vinegar and water into either a thick glass measuring cup or a spray bottle (depending on your application preference) and add in the essential oils one at a time. Stir or swirl it to combine, while visualizing a gleaming head of gloriously shiny, soft hair. After you wash your mane, pour the potion down onto your scalp slowly from the top, letting it trickle through your hair sensually (this is my favorite way!) or mist it from the bottle until your scalp and hair are covered evenly. Massage gently into your scalp all around, enjoying every moment, and keeping your visual strong. Let it sit for a few minutes to really work its magic while you breathe in the enchanted aroma, then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Follow with your favorite conditioner to seal it in.
Darlings, you will love this! A good scalp massage does wonders for not only your hair but for your spirit. It lifts away tensions, stimulates circulation, and somehow tends to your head in a way that immediately restores happiness. This blend is sensual and joyous, infused with beauty magic and the delights of Autumn.
Apple Cider Vinegar A gift of love and beauty straight from Venus, apple cider vinegar gently removes residue from your scalp and hair that can cause dulling and flaking, gently stripping down product buildup while promoting hair growth, shine, and balanced PH levels.
Cedarwood Solar-powered cedarwood stimulates hair follicles by increasing circulation to the scalp, and has a natural thickening ability. A tree of purification, it also holds healing and money magic.
Nutmeg Fiery, Jupiter-ruled nutmeg prevents hair loss and encourages new growth while keeping tresses shiny. It is also highly valued for its ability to open up our psychic awareness.
As we continue to romp through the month, rolling in leaves, basking in the glow of bonfires, and sipping spiced brews, we happen upon one of my favorite Moons of the year: the Taurus Full Moon on October 24th at 12:45pm EST. I love it so much, not only because it occurs in the stunning and sparkling month of October, but because it is serves as the partner to the Aries Full Moon of September. When you work with these two Moons as one, so to speak, the pair has the power to get something off the ground, and then assure its longevity. How fantastic is that? The Aries spark fires up the spell, while Taurus roots into the earth to give it staying power. You must be sure, of course, to be clear of intention (as always), for the Taurus Moon makes it difficult to change the energy once it has manifested.
Did someone mention spiced brews? How about a luscious, warming seasonal blend packed with immune-boosting powers and a secret special ingredient? This one does the trick (and treat!) for cozying up on a crisp Fall evening, with all the potency of the full Moon, and the creature comforts Taurus just adores.
2 cups spring water
6 slices fresh ginger root
6 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons medicinal mushroom powder blend (see below)
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, or to taste
In a medium-sized pot, heat the water on a very low flame. Place the ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg into the water. Allow the blend to simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in the mushroom blend and the maple syrup. As you are adding each ingredient, visualize robust good health and vitality, even on the chilliest night. See and really feel yourself as strong and vibrant, bustling through your days and lighting up your nights with radiant energy. Now take that energy and send it into that which you are trying to manifest on this Moon. Stir the pot clockwise with intention, inhaling the perfume and the high vibrations as it blends to create a potion. Turn off the flame, and strain the brew into a favorite cup. Sip it slowly, and give thanks.
This one hits all the sensory notes, with a touch of Autumnal sweetness and a blissful little bite. Enjoy it all season long, and even through the Winter. Don’t be turned off by the mushroom blend – it adds a richness, and frankly doesn’t taste at all like them. Even of you dislike mushrooms (hmm?!) you will enjoy this. The flavor is fabulous and the benefits far outweigh any reservation you may have. The maple syrup blends brilliantly to offset any bitterness from the mushrooms, and adds a mineral/antioxidant boost. If you are sugar-sensitive, feel free to substitute coconut nectar (very low-glycemic) or stevia (non-glycemic.)
Ginger Mars-ruled ginger is as powerful as can be – it brings forth love and success magic while improving your health! This spicy, warming root revs circulation, boosts immunity, relieves pain and soreness, and quells digestive upsets.
Cinnamon, Clove and Nutmeg The fire power of this trio is amazing, and all the better to get your magic off the ground! Together, these heavenly-scented spices provide vitamins and minerals while keeping illness at bay. Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and circulation-boosting, this blend aids in good digestion and keeps your skin glowing from the inside out. Did I mention they are aphrodisiacs?
Medicinal Mushroom Blend Lunar-ruled and marvelously earthy, mushrooms are one of the most potent superfoods we have been given. A good medicinal blend will contain chaga, lion’s mane, turkey tail, and reishi – with potentially a few other gems in there – for detoxifying, strengthening your immune system, improving brain function, revitalizing the body, and building strength and endurance. I love this blend.
Beauty Witch Tip: Try this with a splash of almond milk, a bit of raw cacao, or even with coffee to incorporate the myriad benefits of mycelium into your brews.
Ah, Beasties. Time surely does fly, doesn’t it? (Especially when we travel by broom!) As all good things must pass, we bid a bittersweet adieu to our treasured October with none other than the iconic witches New Year, Samhain, on October 31st. At once the mystically beautiful, celebratory culmination of the harvest festivals and a more somber honoring of loved ones who have moved on, Samhain is an extremely potent night for magic. (For a simple, pleasurable and effective Beauty Witch ritual, take a look at my Autumn Beauty Magic feature from last year’s Practical Magic issue.)
The good news is, whether you celebrate Samhain or Halloween, or both, it’s a fantastic night to shine! Why? Because everyone’s favorite spooky holiday glows under a Leo Moon this year, so show off your most theatrical self and revel in a bewitching evening of magic and mischief!
Well, my Loves, I’ve got some serious couture selections to consider…so I’ll see you next month right here. Have an absolutely stunning October!
Love and Stardust,
Thank you, beautiful! I look forward to this every month, and you never disappoint! I can’t wait to try these new things. I need a nice hot cup instead of afternoon coffee, and this looks so good and full of healthy things. I would take your advice on anything to do with looking great-you are the living proof! (of course it would nice to have your natural beauty though haha oh well!)
Hi Laura! I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying everything! Yes, this is an excellent superfood alternative to a mid-afternoon coffee break – you’re going to get hooked on it! And you’re sweet to say such nice things – but NEVER FORGET that YOU are beautiful!!! Embrace and enjoy your unique beauty…I know you have cauldrons full of fabulousness! Much love xoxoxo Alise
I love Fall so much too! What a great column as always! one question: if I don’t have time to leave the rinse on my hair will it still work? ooh and I will be drinking this “witches brew” all winter long for sure! Thank you Alise!
Isn’t it the best?! Thank you! Oh yes – here’s what I would recommend: apply the rinse, do all your showering, then rinse it and coat your hair with a quickie layer of conditioner, then rinse again. Make this the last thing you do before stepping out of the shower. You will still reap the benefits, and it just takes a minute. Enjoy your hair and your brew! Much love xoxoxoxo Alise
Yay! Finally my favorite time of year 🙂 The latest brew sounds truly divine! Thanks for the info about the Venus retrograde, too, I look forward to working with it for some self-love healing.
Isn’t it though? Thank you! You are most welcome…I’m glad it’s helpful, and ohhhh yes, take good care of your precious self! Much love! XOXOXOXO Alise
Alise, you were so right about the mushrooms! I never thought I could ever like them, but I trust you, so I tried them and you are right this brew is excellent! Thank you for taking care of us, and for all your magic!
Oh I’m so glad you tried it! I know it’s a bit of an existential leap, but once you get into medicinal mushrooms there is no going back…they really are your best defense. Enjoy it all the time! xoxoxo Alise
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